‘Our next chapter’

In his latest video message for USPS employees, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy discusses the organization’s efforts to meet its service standards.

The Postal Service has experienced challenges for several years — issues that have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic — but the organization is working to turn the page.

“The time to start our next chapter — and move on from a time of losing money, not meeting service expectations and losing market share — is now,” DeJoy says.

He reports USPS is embarking on a “self-help plan” that will address the organization’s weaknesses and capitalize on its strengths, including the commitment of its employees.

“With this new precision we will grow our pieces per delivery and improve our bottom line — and more importantly, our relationship with the American public,” he says.

The Postmaster General also thanks employees for their ongoing hard work and dedication during challenging times.

“Your commitment has been evident during the pandemic, the election and our peak season. I know the American people are grateful for your service and sacrifices,” he says.

The video, released Feb. 9, is available on Link and other postal websites and will be shown to employees throughout the organization this week.

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USPS finances

Letter carrier walks along sidewalk.

The Postal Service has reported its financial results for fiscal year 2021’s first quarter (Oct. 1-Dec. 31, 2020). Here are some highlights:

• Revenue. Total revenue was $21.5 billion, up 11.1 percent from the same period one year earlier. Despite record election-related mail during the quarter, revenue from mail services dropped, the result of the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing mail declines. First-Class Mail revenue decreased 2.7 percent, while Marketing Mail revenue declined 5.6 percent. Shipping and packages revenue increased 42.1 percent as a result of record holiday volumes affected by the surge in online shopping associated with the pandemic.

• Volume. Total volume was approximately 36.6 billion pieces, down 3.2 percent from one year earlier. First-Class Mail volume decreased 4.1 percent, while Marketing Mail volume declined 3.9 percent. Shipping and packages volume increased 25 percent as the organization delivered a record 1.1 billion packages during the holidays. USPS doesn’t expect its package business growth over the medium term to the long term to make up for its losses in mail service revenue caused by the health crisis. Postal Service management is aggressively addressing service levels affected by the pandemic and record package volume, and service continues to improve.

• Expenses. Total operating expenses were $21.1 billion for the quarter, up 5.3 percent from the same quarter one year earlier.

• Net income. Net income for the quarter was $318 million compared with a net loss of $748 million for the same period one year earlier. Excluding a non-cash workers’ compensation fair value adjustment and a time-limited peak surcharge, the loss for the quarter would have been approximately $522 million.

“Our strong growth in package volume during the holiday quarter shows how dramatically our business and revenue mix is shifting,” said Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. “While our positive financial results this quarter are certainly welcome, we continue to face systemic imbalances that make our current operating model unsustainable, and the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to challenge the organization. It is essential that the Postal Service adopt reforms so that we are better able to meet the changing needs of our business and residential customers, and ensure our ability to provide reliable, universal mail and package delivery for all Americans.”

The Postal Service’s Form 10-Q, available on the usps.com Financials page, has additional information.